Sunday, 20 June 2021

Malevolent Designer News - Is Creationism's Magic Designer Preparing Something Even Nastier?

Electron microscopy of selected samples.
A. Negative stain electron micrograph of a ground stool pool homogenate from a Myotis myotis colony.
B. Negative stain electron micrograph of a pooled liver and spleen homogenate from Pipistrellus nathusii.
Metagenomic analysis of fecal and tissue samples from 18 endemic bat species in Switzerland revealed a diverse virus composition including potentially zoonotic viruses

Creationist mode:

Creationism's malevolent designer - the designer who, according to Creationist dogma, must have created the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the coronavirus pandemic - seems to be working on something even nastier!

According to researcher led by Isabelle Hardmeier of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, bats are acting as hosts to viruses from 39 different viral families, 16 of which have the potential to cross over into humans and cause the next major pandemic, just as SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated.

The researchers analysed the RNA and DNA of viruses found in the faeces and organs of more than 17,000 bats living in Switzerland. One of the studied bat colonies was found to harbour a near-complete genome of a virus known as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-related coronavirus (CoV). Others known to have the potential to become pathogenic in humans include coronaviruses, adenoviruses, hepeviruses, rotaviruses A and H, and parvoviruses.

Their findings have been published open access in PLOS ONE:

Many recent disease outbreaks in humans had a zoonotic virus etiology. Bats in particular have been recognized as reservoirs to a large variety of viruses with the potential to cross-species transmission. In order to assess the risk of bats in Switzerland for such transmissions, we determined the virome of tissue and fecal samples of 14 native and 4 migrating bat species. In total, sequences belonging to 39 different virus families, 16 of which are known to infect vertebrates, were detected. Contigs of coronaviruses, adenoviruses, hepeviruses, rotaviruses A and H, and parvoviruses with potential zoonotic risk were characterized in more detail. Most interestingly, in a ground stool sample of a Vespertilio murinus colony an almost complete genome of a Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was detected by Next generation sequencing and confirmed by PCR. In conclusion, bats in Switzerland naturally harbour many different viruses. Metagenomic analyses of non-invasive samples like ground stool may support effective surveillance and early detection of viral zoonoses.

Bats seem to have a unique immune system which isolates the viruses in the cells but stops them doing enough damage to make the bat sick. The viruses can then happily mutate away, eventually coming up with a zoonotic variant with the potential to kill a different host. It's as though Creationism's putative intelligent [sic] designer has designed bats as laboratory test-beds for developing his nastier viruses with which to make us suffer.

Creationist mode:

Since creationists are obliged to believe everything is created intentionally by an omniscient designer and can't be the result of a natural process such as evolution by natural selection, we have to believe they think their putative designer is responsible for these viruses and the fact that they can arise withing bats. It knows with perfect precision exactly what will happen if and when one or more of these viruses crosses the species barrier into mankind or even one of our domestic livestock.

So, the question for those who continue to promote this religious explanation for the diversity of life on earth is: why do you prefer the view of your god as a malevolent evil, who hates its creation and intentionally makes it suffer, rather than accept that species and organisms like viruses arise naturally by an amoral, unguided process, without any malevolent intent? And, if it were real, what would your god say about your portrayal of it as this monstrous evil?

Answers below, pleas.

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